I can't believe this is finished.
Ever since I started writing this story, about 5 or 6 months ago, it has been my baby. So much of it all was my mind, probably too much, but this story has been so important, even if it was small, and it's hard to post the last of it. But thank you, every singe one of you, for reading and reviewing and enjoying it and hating it and me. And now that I'm done, even if I'm writing other stories now, this is still my baby, and so it means a lot that you are reading it. Thank you.
So I'm writing other things, but it might be a while until I post anything due to school being a bitch, and there won't be a sequel to this - in my mind, no matter how lame this ending is, it is the end of their story, and I can't write this version of them any more. (I'm fairly sure. Don't expect anything.) And with all the other stories in my head, I have plenty of things to do.
So thank you, every single one of you amazing readers.
Disclaimer: We all get it, belongs to CC.
I hope that you enjoy the final instalment of The Descent.
In the hospital they are finally left alone, Alec in a bed in an uncomfortable hospital gown, his wounds bandaged and the stark white room only broken up by Magnus' dark clothed form.
The sound of machines whirring and other people around is even worse than he imagines silence would be, but he doesn't have the guts to speak yet, and he doesn't know what he would say anyway.
He stares at Magnus, who isn't looking at him, for a long minute.
"Why did you try to-" He pauses and swallows before looking up at Alec, and he can finally see the pain that's in his eyes. "Kill yourself."
"I wasn't, I- I just- Did you mean what you said, before? Or did you just read it and think-"
"That you- you love me." He clenches a hand beneath the sheets, steeling himself.
"That I- Alec, I've loved you since practically the moment I saw you, spoke to you." The other man stands up, moves to beside the bed. "And I don't know what to do, I don't know why- I just know that I was wrong, so terribly wrong, everything I said-" His voice cracks and Alec reaches for one of his hands, grips it tight.
"You didn't read the things I wrote?"
"No, I don't- I just know- I couldn't live without you, Alec, and I can't let you go, and god I'm sorry and-"
"I wasn't trying to kill myself!"
He surprises himself somewhat with the outburst, and they stare at each other. "Sit down?" As Magnus' hand begins to slip from his, he squeezes it tight, unwilling to let go. "Beside me?"
Magnus moves the chair obediently and sits down, wrapping his free hand around their joined ones.
It takes a while for him to gather his thoughts properly, but he manages it, and when he glances to the side again, Magnus is still watching with what might be hope in his eyes.
"I-" He takes a deep breath and looks away. "I feel so out of everything. I don't know what it is. And then I feel like crap, I get scared, and angry because I'm scared, and then goddamn terrified of everything in myself. I want destroy things, my room, the possessions, myself, and then I'm too much of a bloody coward that I can't get a knife out and do it, or even scratch my skin until I bleed." He pauses for another breath and becomes aware of the clutching hold on his hand but he can't look at Magnus yet, his heart is hurting too much.
"I just want to get out of here, my skin, my fucked up mind." He tries not to hear the strangled cry that comes from Magnus, tries not to let it affect him. "I want to rip it all away, Magnus, scrape everything off, empty me, until all that left is the memory," A choking gasp bursts out of him as he finally looks up, and sees tears falling from Magnus eyes, same as the ones falling from his own. "The feeling of you touching me, loving me, because that's the only goddamn good thing that's ever happened."
He finds himself wrapped in Magnus' arms, held tightly against his chest and he cries in to Magnus' shirt, and he can feel Magnus' tears running into his hair.
"I'm sorry, I'm so sorry, oh Alec, I'm sorry…"
When they go home a day later Magnus treats him carefully, and it seems like he can't bear to leave Alec for too long, because he doesn't, and when he does it's only ever for a few minutes, but it's fine with Alec because he needs Magnus near him just for some kind of comfort. And it is comforting and Magnus holds him and occasionally will stop whatever he's doing and place a quick kiss on his forehead or something and it's so nice having a hand running through his hair or over his arm.
Eventually he catches Magnus glancing toward the hallway, and the bedrooms, and he remembers how he was writing. And he's not sure what it all was, really, and he's not sure whether it makes any sense but part of him does what Magnus to read it, does want Magnus to know what he was thinking, so he tells Magnus that he can look at it if he wants and Magnus kisses his lips gently before fetching the papers, which Alec is horrified to see are stained with ink and his blood.
They sit on the couch and Alec settles himself with his legs over Magnus' lap and half leaning against him, and pulls a blanket over them because he's kinda cold, and Magnus kisses him again before beginning to read. Alec can't bring himself to read, he's not ready to relive those thoughts, and so he sits and listens to Magnus' heart and the rustle of paper and the beginning of Magnus' sobs.
It hurts to hear it, to listen to the sound and he wants to take it away, stop him from reading it, but Magnus needs to know.
A couple of times Magnus stops because he can't read any further, puts the pages down, and embraces him, kisses him, strokes his face and apologises, and Alec doesn't know what to say or do but just kisses him back, as if reminding him that he's here, that he's fine.
But there's words that they both say, that they both mean, the words that escape him with every breath and the pours into every touch and kiss.
I love you.
Izzy calls up and she sounds relieved when Alec answers, but he can't tell her what happened, so he just says that he was annoyed with Magnus because he was being annoying and she sounds like she doesn't believe him but she doesn't exactly question it either, so it's all okay.
Being with Magnus is as natural as breathing, waking up with him, talking with him, texting little tiny things throughout the day. He can't help but smile, every time he thinks of his boyfriend, because it's Magnus and he loves him and things are beautiful.
For once life is truly good.
For once he's truly alive.
He likes feeling Magnus' breath on his neck when he wakes up in the morning, likes feeling his calming heartbeat at the beginning of the day.
He likes the way he finds their fingers trailing over each other, lingering, unwilling to break contact. He likes the way they can curl up together at night when they're watching TV and the natural way that Magnus will brush his fringe out of his eyes sometimes, or straighten his clothes even if they don't need it. How Magnus relaxes into him when he hugs him from behind, when he's in his studio looking tense over some work.
How Magnus looks at him with those eyes of his and Alec can feel loved and wanted and known and so much else until he wants to stay looking into them forever.
Alec likes the mornings when they can have a long shower together, when Magnus touches him gently, as if he's a piece of fragile china, but each touch makes him gasp-
And he spreads the soap over Alec's skin so carefully, and washes it off, and runs his fingers and lips over Alec's arms and legs, kissing so softly the thin raised lines that litter his pale skin and the care of the actions and the love in Magnus' eyes makes Alec cry, and when Magnus steps away from the spray and takes him into his arms he can see that he is too.
Alec traces the hand lying across his chest idly, slowing as he comes to the fourth digit with its golden band. He runs his thumb over it, still hardly able to believe-
The hand flips over and grabs his, making him yelp, and he feels a soft chuckle before Magnus' lips brush against the back of his neck. "Good morning, gorgeous."
The lips brush against his ear and the bed dips slightly behind him, making him roll over as Magnus' chest moves and suddenly they're face to face, Alec caught between Magnus' legs and the other's eyes are dancing as he brings their linked right hands up to his mouth and kisses Alec's gently. "Admiring the ring?" Alec feels himself flushing and twists his hand from Magnus' grip, only to pull his hand closer and press a kiss to Magnus' hand in return.
Alec is nervous as he leads Magnus into his bedroom. They sleep here every night since… What happened, but it's been a month already and he feels like he should show Magnus this.
He makes Magnus sit on the bed and to stay there and digs around at the back of his wardrobe until he finds the box that he's looking for and then brings it out and sits it on the bed between them. He sighs before slowly pushing the cardboard flaps covering the contents back.
Magnus looks curious.
"This… He looks down at his hands and Magnus grabs them, holding them tight, giving him the courage to look back up at him. "This is all of the stuff that I have collected over the years. When you went to Indonesia - I didn't know what to do - I saw things that reminded me of you - I bought them - I don't know, it's probably mostly really strange, you-"
Magnus has gone pale and squeezes his hands extra tight for a second before leaping off the bed and out of the room and Alec just looks after him confusedly. There's a short bang and then Magnus reappears, his hair mussed and he's carrying a large, rather flat box.
He jumps back onto the bed and places his box next to Alec's, who finally realises what's going on and can't help but giggle at the two of them. Magnus joins in as he takes lid off his box and then grabs Alec by the chin and pulls him forward into a long kiss.
"We really were idiots, weren't we."
Alec begins to nod but he sees the contents of the box and it's paintings and sketches and he picks them up one by one and stares at Magnus in wonder and for the first time that Alec can actually remember, Magnus is bright red, full on blushing. "They're beautiful, Magnus. They're… They're the most incredible things I've ever seen."
Magnus reaches up and slides a palm onto Alec's cheek. "They're for you. Whenever I was thinking of you, I'd…"
Alec looks back down at the box, where there are pieces of paper of all shapes and sizes. "There are so many…"
"There are more in another box. These were the best. Some of the less personal ones worked their way into my folio, I'm afraid. And…" As he trails off, Alec looks back at his rather sheepish face. "If you won't get mad at me-"
"Magnus." Alec moves backwards and Magnus looks stricken, and then happy again as Alec crawls around the two large boxes and sits back again next to Magnus leaning up against the pillows.
"Tessa saw one of the drawings by accident and she didn't realise until later, when she'd already shown it to the teacher and then he wouldn't let me pull it out of the art show-"
"The hands?" Alec feels a little dizzy at the thought. "The drawing that won that fucking major prize?"
Magnus cringes. "Yeah…"
"Oh my god." Alec runs his hand through his hair. "You won a prize with my hands."
"Hey, I drew them." Magnus smirks briefly. "It's okay, though? You're not annoyed that I didn't tell you?"
"God- Magnus- No! I was jealous of those hands!" He can't think- "Magnus, I love you."
Magnus stares at him for a long moment before leaning in and pressing their lips together gently. "I love you too."
Alec's kind of tempted to push all of the stuff off of the bed and kiss Magnus some more, but he really wants to see all of the art now, so he reluctantly sits up and begins to look through the papers. Here and there he finds small objects; a blue marble in a clear plastic box, a bow and arrow charm, a small wooden box with a tiny little clasp holding it closed…
Magnus gives a loud gasp just as Alec is about to open it and snatches it away.
He looks at his boyfriend, confused, for a minute, as Magnus' hands twist around the object, shaking slightly.
It's shoved back into his hands and Magnus looks away, fingers fiddling with each other, unable to keep still.
Alec looks back down at the box and opens it slowly. The first thing his mind registers is the dark shine of a silvery metal, shaped in a ring and sitting flat on a pad of satiny material. He can't take his eyes off of it, but finally takes it between his fingers and sees the stylised sun, the twisting braid of flames, and it seems familiar.
He looks back up at Magnus in shock. "This is the ring from the drawing."
"Of course." Magnus has a kind of sad smile on his face. "When I drew that picture- it was an ideal. My fantasy. What I wanted most - your hands on me, my ring on your finger."
Alec's mouth opens and shuts, unable to vocalise.
"If you don't want it, I understand, it's not professionally made and I'm probably getting ahead of myself, I've just loved you for so long and-"
"No!" Magnus looks away at his words and Alec realises what he's said. "No- I want it, it's beautiful, and I love you and that you want me to have it-" He breaks off and looks down at the hand that's clenched around the ring. "I- mine's-" He runs his fingers over it, inside- "Is that writing inside?"
Magnus' hand closes over his like lightning and slips the ring from his hand before he can actually read it.
"You can't read the inscription."
Alec tries to frown, but a smile continues to creep onto his face. "Why not? I thought this ring was for me?"
Magnus blushes for what must be the hundredth time, and mumbles, "Because it's lame."
"I think I get to decide that for myself, thank you." He holds out his hand for the ring, but instead of placing the ring in it, Magnus flips it over and sets the ring at the edge of his ring finger. Magnus hands are shaking as he slides the ring on. "'et lux in tenebris lucet.'"
It fits. "And light in the darkness shines…" He withdraws his hand from Magnus' to place both palms to his boyfriend's cheeks. "You're that to me, you know. The only light in my darkness."
Magnus leans forward, pressing their lips together in an almost urgent kiss, and Alec lets himself go into it, lets his emotion control him. He needs this affirmation, needs Magnus to hold him tight.
And he does.
Magnus is still tentative about touching him, still caressing him gently, as if afraid that he might break. Alec understands why he does so, but god he wishes he wouldn't.
The fingers that slide beneath his shirt are as careful as ever, but they do leave him gasping for air much sooner than he would like, but he supposes that it's for the best given that he has something that must do as well, before he's too distracted by Magnus.
By the time he's managed to find what he's looking for in the box, Magnus is looking thoroughly confused, even more so when Alec rather reluctantly opens his hand to reveal a small china cat. Magnus takes it, quickly finding the edge of the lid and opening the container. Although Alec is carefully watching for his reaction, he barely sees the smile that spreads across his boyfriend's face before he's knocked backwards by the kiss that is bestowed on him.
Magnus looks down at him from where he's leaning on his forearms, holding himself up inches from Alec's face. "You bought me a ring?"
He nods, blushing again.
"Just after you brought Chairman Meow home. I saw it and thought of you, if you don't like it it's fine, I-"
"I love it." Magnus rolls to the side, but tugging Alec with him until he's lying half on top of him.
"You're not just-"
"I love it, because it's beautiful and because you've given it to me. And I am fully aware of how cheesy that must sound." The arm around Alec's stomach squeezes him. "I love you."
Despite the number of times he has heard them, the words always give a thrill, and this time the bareness, the lack of adornments that sometime litter Magnus' speech makes it even better. He can hear the truth.
And accept it.
He can't do anything else but smile, lay his head on Magnus' chest, listen to the pounding heartbeat that jumps as he places his left hand over his boyfriend's.
"I'm glad you like it." He shifts upwards until his head is level with Magnus'.
"Will you put it on?"
Magnus laughs at his embarrassment, at his red face, but leans closer and kisses his forehead, cheeks, nose, chin, until he can look at him again.
"I promise that I'll try not to squeal too excitedly."
"I don't even know if it'll fit on your finger-"
He takes the ring, takes hold of Magnus' right hand just as he had done with him, and looks back at his boyfriend, sees the green-gold eyes shining and almost loses courage.
But somehow it slides onto the fourth digit just fine and it gives him such a rush to see that ring on the long finger, like Magnus is his. Only his.
"I love you."
At Thanksgiving they know they have to visit home, but part of Alec just wants to stay with Magnus, spend this time in private, together.
The drive home is quiet, but whenever Magnus doesn't need both hands on the wheel he lets one rest in Alec's, a fact that makes him smile, and squeeze it tightly.
He's confused for a second as Magnus pulls over a few streets from their house, but understands when he Magnus turns to him and pulls him closer so that he can hold him closer to kiss.
It takes a while to gather the will to pull away, to remind Magnus that they're already running late.
"It's not that I don't want to tell them, it's because I want to keep you to myself a while longer. You know that, right?"
Magnus stops using the rear view mirror to fix his hair from the 'mess' that Alec's hands made of it and looks at him. "I know. I'm just so great that everyone wants me." He laughs as Alex hits him and brushes a kiss to his nose. "And I understand if you don't want your parents to know for a while. We've been through this. Tell people when you're comfortable with doing so."
"Can I just stay here and kiss you?"
"No, like you said, we have to go." But he's wearing a smile and he does kiss Alec one more time before starting the car up once more.
The car stops again a minute later, this time outside his house, where Alec barely has time to give Magnus a wistful look and leave the car before the front door opens with a bang and Izzy flies out, practically tackling Alec back into the car with her hug.
"Oh my god Alec, I've barely heard from you which is unfair and you're a horrible brother and you didn't answer my calls for like, a month, and Magnus I can't believe you haven't visited me yet."
Alec rolls his eyes but hugs her back tightly because he has missed her. They begin to walk towards the house slowly, as Izzy is telling him everything that has been happening since he last saw her, only to be interrupted by Jace actually tackling Alec to the ground.
As Izzy berates him, Alec looks around for Magnus, finding him standing with a box in his hands on the other side of the front garden, talking to Max.
Magnus sighs. "An apology of sorts."
"Breaking my promise."
"Breaking your- what happened?"
"Nothing- I deserve to be shot for it, deserve worse- but I'm sorry."
The teenager looks pissed off in a way that's reminiscent of Isabelle. "Tell me-"
"I can't. I just- I know it's the opposite of a punishment, but I swear to you, swear on my soul, the I will spend the rest of my life looking after Alec."
Max looks at him suspiciously for a second before breaking into a grin. "Okay. Just make sure you don't hurt him. Because if you do, we'll kill you."
"I won't." He presses the box into Max's hands. "Don't tell anyone."
Magnus hugs Izzy briefly before leaving with a blown kiss that Alec smiles at, knowing who it's for.
It's good to see his family again, but he can't help wishing that Magnus were there, that he could rest in his boyfriend's arms, take a little bit of strength and courage from his kiss.
"Hey Alec, can you pass me the potatoes?"
Izzy's words bring Alec out of his thoughts, and he does as she asks, moving them closer to where she sits opposite.
"What's that ring?"
He pulls his right hand back, but he's not quick enough and she grabs, pulling it closer to her eyes.
"It's just a ring, give my hand back!"
"Did Magnus give it to you?" Their mother's mild voice has them both freezing as she leans forward to take a closer look.
"Uh…" He hesitates for a second before taking the plunge. "Yeah, he did."
His hand slips from Izzy's fingers and he sees her gaping mouth for a moment before turning to Maryse.
"It's nice." She smiles briefly before turning back to her plate.
Alec can't help but smile as he returns his hand to the table beside him.
"Oh. My. God."
He winces at the high pitch of Izzy's voice.
"I can't believe you didn't tell me!"
"Didn't tell you what?"
"I saw that look! You can't trick me into believing that you-"
"I can't believe you didn't tell me!" Jace joins in the accusation, finally having figured out what's going on.
"Yeah, Alec. I can't believe you didn't tell them."
Everyone at the table, including their father, with a creased brow, turns to Max.
"You told Max?"
"Magnus told you?"
Max looks smug, leaning back in his chair and crossing his arms. "I worked it out. I'm not stupid, unlike the rest of you."
Jace and Izzy begin to defend their intelligence to Max and Robert looks confusedly down the table. "I don't understand."
"Alec is dating Magnus."
Silence falls at his mother's words. His father frowns. "His friend? Who is a guy?" He doesn't seem to wait for an answer before continuing. "How long has this been going on?"
Alec feels extremely uncomfortable as each of his family's heads turn towards him, and finds himself fiddling with the ring on his right hand. "A couple of months."
"I thought it was longer." Maryse is looking enquiringly at him.
"Can we stop talking about this now?"
"Yeah, we should talk about how amazing Clary is and how she's the best girlfriend ever and you're all totally jealous of me-"
"Fuck off, Jace."
The conversation goes back to normal and Alec slips his phone out of his pocket and texts Magnus.
They know :)
:) I'm happy for you. And me. I can proclaim you as mine now, right? Can I kiss you in front of everyone?
Not as much as you can in private
There's a pause, and Alec wonders if he should have said that.
Can we go home now?
No. See you later :)
I love you x
I love you too
He puts the device away again and looks up to see Izzy smirk knowingly at him and makes his cheeks flush with red.
Stupid little sisters.
Their parents leave them too their own devices for the evening and Max leaves for a friend's house, so the three of them that are left spend it together, Magnus, Clary and Simon joining them, and they watch movies and catch up on what each of them have been doing, and it just feels so good, finally being able to sit in Magnus' arms, the comforting feel of their skin touching, of their hearts beating, of Magnus' breath against his hair.
He's no longer longing for the boy next to him, watching in jealousy anyone who can call Magnus theirs.
When it begins to get late they say their goodnights to the other four and make their way to Alec's room, and no matter what anyone thinks, Alec decides as they change into pyjamas, he is happy like this, happier than he has ever been, and it is Magnus.
He smuggles as close as is physically possible to Magnus in the bed, legs tangled, his back flush against Magnus' chest, holding his arms around him.
"I love you." Magnus' words are soft.
"Always?" Despite the number of times that they have said this in the past, Alec still finds his voice trembling slightly.
He breathes a sigh, feels his heart beat slow as Magnus' arms tighten around him.
"I love you too."
You are the thing that I love.
You are the thing that keeps me here.